November 12, 2022

As of right now, we have retained control of the Senate, and we're only a handful of seats away from maintaining control of the House. I think we'll get it. And for now, I'm so relieved.

So talk up our wins. (I mean, Big Gretch? John Fetterman? Whoa.) Let people know you're excited about being a Democrat.

But we haven't solved anything yet.

Despite the inspiring turnout of GenZ, that fact is that about 27%-31% of young voters turned out -- and that was with abortion as a rallying issue. Once we codify Roe, we won't have that anymore. So Democrats need to keep doing things for people -- and doing a better job of crowing about them.

Assuming we have the House and Senate, we must get to work shoring up democracy. The Voting Rights Act should be a priority, but unless we get rid of the filibuster, I don't know how we do that. Maybe some Democratic senators will see the writing on the wall and vote to kick the filibuster to the curb, but that's a pretty big if. (Don't kid yourself it was just Manchin and Sinema. There were a significant number of Democrat senators using them as a firewall.)

To get rid of the filibuster, every single one of us has to contact our senators and tell them how strongly we feel about this.

This is not business as usual. It can't be.

I have my own personal fascism barometer: The more worried I am about democracy, the more I watch Hallmark Christmas movies -- and I absolutely hate them! I'm watching them a lot this year.

The morning after the election, I saw Joe Scarborough and some other talking heads advising Ron DeSantis about his next pivot. (Really, Joe? Why not make it official? Quit TV and become a campaign consultant!)

We all know the media will push very, very hard to reinstall their beloved status quo -- and that means a growing wave of "both sides" and the usual horse race mentality.

So much of this is out of our control. We already know the media doesn't actually change in response to our criticism. They only pout and double down.

But we can change other things. One of them is to start spending less time and energy on comments sections (if I could bottle up all the energy that goes into attacking every mention of Joe Scarborough, I could light up the world!) and get involved on the most basic levels

One of the most powerful tools we still have is the ability to contact our elected officials, both state and federal. As I've explained before, even if you have a hardcore Republican representative, they track those calls. GOP leadership collects that feedback. If enough people start calling about the same issue, they start to pay attention -- if only to save their own asses. (You think they're not desperately trying to figure out how to claw back their abortion stance right now?)

The rule of thumb is, if one person calls to complain, there's another 300 who won't bother to pick up the phone -- they'll just bitch to all their friends and get them to hold your vote against you.

And if your representative is a Democrat, do what they call in management training "catch them doing something right." I call my own member regularly: "I saw the congressman on MSNBC last night and I really loved how he stood up for gun control." And if you think they weaseled out on a tough issue, tell them that, too!

Go to town halls if they have them.

Get involved with your local Democratic party. Sure, a lot of them suck -- but they're not going to get any better without fresh perspective.

But mostly, stay alert. Fascism never sleeps. Book banning, LGBT harrassment, voter suppression. Media extremism. How many more Republican governors will follow Ron DeSantis's lead and establish their own private "election police"? When you see something, say something.

Be like the Ukrainians. Celebrate every victory, and then back to the war.

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